A different track is to earn an associate's degree in zoo technology at a community college that is connected with a local zoo. Talk to zoos near you and other professionals in order to find out how to get a job at a zoo either before or during your degree. These programs emphasize hands-on education, which is valuable when entering the field of zookeeping. Courses in animal training may be available in an associate's program. Some associate's degrees can be transferred to zoo-related bachelor's degree programs.
The sooner you begin acquiring experience with animals the better. You should start when you're in high school or during college. The advantage of doing this type of work during college is that some zoos have internship programs developed specifically for college students. These programs support students in getting experience, college credit, and sometimes even a good paycheck. Knowledge and experience in animal handling is crucial. Aspiring zookeepers usually start out volunteering or participating in an unpaid internship. After a time, the volunteer or intern will gain more experience working with different animals and earn positive references from supervisors. This will help in acquiring a paid internship. Paid internships are commonly available to those still in college and recent graduates, and they're sometimes a prerequisite for hire at a zoo. Often, zoos looking for a new zookeeper will give first priority to those who have interned there. The zoos that do this know first-hand that their interns work hard, understand how the zoo is run, and are familiar with the zoo animals.
Hope this helps Miryam